Purchased from: L'Escale Music
Sound — 7
Having both Precision-style and Jazz-style pickups, the rbx 270j is capable of a fair range of sounds, from the thinner, plunky tones of jazz and funk to the bassier rumble suited for rock. The sound of this bass does vary considerably from one amplifier to the next, so trying it out with your own amp is absolutely necessary. This bass doesn't have quite as much low end as I would like, and through some amps, this becomes much more pronounced, leaving the bass incapable of producing any thing but a thin plucky sound. I've played it with a number of effects, including a Boss PS-5 Super Pitch Shifter, an MXR El Grande Bass Fuzz, an Electro-Harmonix Stereo Memory Man with Hazari, and a DigiTech Digiverb. The bass reacted well to these, sounding particularly full and lush with the Memory Ma and the Digiverb. It sounds best out of the Yorkville Bass Master 200T I currently use; the amp makes up for the bass's lack of low end and gives it all of the bassy rumble it needs. For a budget or beginner's bass, this is quite versatile. As far as tone goes, though, it may not be the best.
Overall Impression — 7
I play primarily ambient music, though I do enjoy toying with rock basslines once in a while. This bass doesn't quite have the low end I need for those droning ambient tones. I've seen many people recommend this to beginners or as a budget bass, but to tel you the truth, this is such a tinny sounding and completely unreliable bass that it will almost certainly be a disposable purchase that will last very little more than a year at best. I suggest either going for something a little more durable in the same price range, or else saving up a little for something more expensive. I'm not as dissatisfied with this bass as it might sound; it's alright and has served me well in the last year, but I do wish I had just waited a little and bought something more useful like the Jazz bass I'm now thinking of getting. Compared to Squiers and Epiphones, it may be a little versatile, but though it can produce a range of sounds, none of them are quite as full or as unique as the ones that could be obtained from certain Squier or Epiphone models. If I could go back and simply get a Vintage Modified Squier Jazz Bass or something similar, I definitely would.
Reliability & Durability — 5
This bass has never gigged yet. Undoubtedly, it would do fine in a gigging situation, but I must admit that it does feel a little fragile. The body is extremely light and the neck bows at an alarming rate (a couple of months into owning this bass, it already had a very visible curve in the neck) and results in tinny clanging of the strings. The controls are plastic and feel less than reliable. As far as durability goes, this is far from being the best bass out there.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
It's made in Japan, so craftsmanship isn't really much of an issue. Like the majority of Yamaha's musical gear, the rbx 270 is set up perfectly. The tuning machines are firmly in place, as are the strap buttons and all three volume/tone knobs. The frets are honestly some of the smoothest I've seen in this price range. All in all, a solid, well-built bass.
Features — 9
The rbx 270 J is a solid-body bass guitar made in Japan sometime in the 00's. It has 24 frets on a rosewood fretboard. The bolt-on neck is maple, the body is visibly made of four planks of maple, and the finish is transparent. The body has an more aggressive, angular shape than a Fender Precision or Jazz bass, with a top "horn" that protrudes radically from the body. This bass features three controls (volume, tone, blend)and two passive pickups (one split Precision pickup at the neck and one Jazz pickup at the bridge). For a cheapie, it is a fairly versatile bass, offering more options than a standard Squier or Epiphone model. Individual pickup volumes may have made for a more versatile design.